A novice assassin is on the hunt for someone killing their own in K. A. Doore’s The Perfect Assassin, a breakout high fantasy beginning the Chronicles of Ghadid series.
Divine justice is written in blood.
Or so Amastan has been taught. As a new assassin in the Basbowen family, he’s already having second thoughts about taking a life. A scarcity of contracts ends up being just what he needs.
Until, unexpectedly, Amastan finds the body of a very important drum chief. Until, impossibly, Basbowen’s finest start showing up dead, with their murderous jaan running wild in the dusty streets of Ghadid. Until, inevitably, Amastan is ordered to solve these murders, before the family gets blamed.
Every life has its price, but when the tables are turned, Amastan must find this perfect assassin or be their next target.
Ooh assassins and murder mystery? Yes please!
I loved Amastan and the culture of assassins that his family has. And the world building was really excellent. You feel immediately drawn in. The concept was great, and the jaani were properly scary! Ghadid is such a visually evoked place in the story, plus the idea of the platforms was scary enough, without having them run across the roofs!! 😂
And the concept of water being magic and currency and of so much importance was so beautifully done. It really leant into the desert feel and the Middle Eastern inspiration. The desperation for the season to end and the storms to start was palpable throughout.
The main story line concludes in a trope that is one of my less enjoyed ones, so that did affect my enjoyment a little sadly. Trying not to spoil it! But it fell a bit flat on the resolution of who was behind it and why. However, I loved Amastan’s reaction and how he dealt with it. So much love. It was perfect and it normally super annoys me that characters don’t do what he did, so yayyyyyyyy! And I liked that he was struggling to do the investigation in time, nothing was coming easily to him.
I also liked Amastan’s friendship with Menna (so lovely) and his relationship with Yufit. I’ve seen a couple of reviews refer to this as very gay or queer, and it didn’t read it to me. The main character is ace, and has a flirtation and moves towards a gay relationship, plus there are a number of queer side characters. But it’s not exactly the focus of the story. It’s definitely a queer story, and I really enjoyed it, I just wanted to say if you go in looking for gay romance you may not get what you’re looking for. I actually loved the subtlety of it.
I am definitely going to be picking up book two, I loved the concept and the world building here, and can’t wait to find out more about what Amastan does next.
Buy The Perfect Assassin from Amazon UK.